Who doesn’t love peanut sauce? It’s my kind of candy. Sweet and spicy with a nice umami punch. I had a hankering for a warm, creamy curry and with leftover peanut sauce in the fridge I thought why not? Coconut milk and peanut sauce go together right? Growing up in poverty I watched my Momma twist all kinds of leftovers and odd cans of food from the back of her pantry into a full spread Southern dinner whenever the money was gone but she still had four mouths to feed. Today I am still living paycheck to paycheck due to our last move and two years of unemployment but it isn’t even remotely close to the two week stretch of beans and rice until pay day my parents had to live through. Even so, I appreciate the challenge of cooking with what I have on hand in the kitchen and force myself regularly to create meals without the convenience of the local groceries around me. Aside from polishing my creativity, it also prevents food waste, which I utterly loathe. So with a can of Goya Coconut milk and leftover peanut sauce, I set about whipping up a curry soup. I also had a fresh head of cauliflower I had picked up at Detwiler’s Farm Market on their last day open until the spring. I’m very sad Detwiler’s is closed until Easter, but it only helps me to further appreciate seasonal eating. Normally I serve curry with Jasmine Rice or Vermicelli but with the addition of the pureed cauliflower the curry really didn’t need anything else. It was hearty enough on its own.
1 can Coconut Milk
2 – 3 tablespoons of your favorite Peanut Sauce
1 cup pureed Cauliflower
1 pkg Extra Firm Tofu, sliced into squares
2 cups water or stock
1 lime, divided
1 can Bamboo Shoots
4 to 5 Green Scallions, chopped
1 in Fresh Ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon Curry Powder, or to taste
1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Oil, one tablespoon reserved
Salt and Pepper to taste
Begin by pan searing the tofu in a large skillet with the toasted sesame oil in batches. Once seared set aside and generously salt and pepper. If you don’t care about the additional texture added by searing the tofu, feel free to add it into the curry without this extra step.
In a dutch oven or large soup pot over a medium flame, saute the onions, ginger, and garlic in about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil until tender and fragrant. Salt and pepper the veggies. Add in the coconut milk, juice from 1/2 the fresh lime, peanut sauce, water or stock, cup of cauliflower puree and bring to a soft simmer. Allow to simmer about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the bamboo shoots and tofu. Turn off the heat and adjust seasoning as needed. Garnish with the green scallion, lime wedges, and additional tofu if desired.